Showing posts with label 6-8 months. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 6-8 months. Show all posts

Apple & Parsnip with Cinnamon


Up until the last couple of weeks Peanut has always chosen vegetables over fruit.
Really.

He would rather have green beans than bananas or pears.
All of a sudden a few weeks ago he no longer wanted to eat straight veggies.  
Veggies in things is no problem.  Even if its a dish of 99% veggies its fine.

It got me thinking about how every parent seems to go through phases of sneaking veggies into their kids food.  If I think I can get away with it, I add vegetables.

Parsnips look like white carrots, are sweeter in flavor and have a unique spiced flavor.
I always think cinnamon and cardamom when I taste them.
All of this makes them perfect to pair with apples.

Picnik collage

Apple & Parsnip with Cinnamon

6 small apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
4 small parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

In your steamer place the parsnips on bottom and apples on top and steam until fork tender,
about 8 minutes depending on their size.
Remove from the steamer reserving cooking liquid.

Mash or puree to the desired consistency adding liquid if needed.
Mix in the cinnamon and Enjoy!


*Variations
-Bake the apples and parsnips instead, intensifying their sweetness.  
Be sure to cover the dish to retain moisture.
-Add a bit of orange juice to brighten it up
-Mash with potato
-Mix into oatmeal or other grains

-For adults:  serve as is or leave out the cinnamon and turn this into a soup by adding chicken stock, a few tbs of butter and a dash of cream

*Storage
Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months

*Benefits
Parsnips are rich in vitamins A, C & E, fiber, folate, manganese, copper, potassium and magnesium.

Apples have lots of fiber, vitamin C, beta-carotene, riboflavin, thiamin, potassium, phosphorus and calcium.

Just Bananas "Ice Cream"

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I've been seeing this one ingredient ice cream on the internet for years and recently tried it out for my 52 Food Adventures challenge.  We've been making it ever since.

As the only ingredient is frozen bananas, it really couldn't be simpler.

Your baby will get a unique treat when eating, your older children will consider it dessert,
and it would be perfect to help soothe the gums of a teething baby.

Picnik collage

Just Bananas "Ice Cream"

Banana (the more ripe the banana is the sweeter it will taste)

Take your banana, peel and slice it and place the pieces on a plate or tray.
Freeze the bananas and then puree in a food processor.

At this point you can definitely serve as is.  The texture will be that of soft serve.

If you like it to be more like traditional ice cream then stick it back in the freezer for another couple hours.

Enjoy!

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*Variations
-Add peanut butter, cocoa powder or nutella
-Roast your bananas first to intensify the sweetness and add a note of caramel

*Storage
Simply place in an airtight container in the freezer

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*Benefits
Bananas are packed with potassium and fiber but they are also good for the digestive system.
They've been known to be binding and I think this would be the perfect that for a sick baby or child with diarrhea.

Have you had the one ingredient ice cream before?

Simple Summer Squash


Our CSA has been packed full of summer squash in all shapes and sizes.

Although you can definitely steam them, 
I prefer to roast them.
Even in the summer heat, I can't get enough roasted summer veggies.

I find that steamed squash becomes a very liquidy puree 
which can be really great if that's what you need in a recipe.

However, roasting the squash eliminates all that extra liquid.

It also brings out the sweetness and preserves the most nutrients.


The summer squash we are using are pattypan, yellow crookneck, zucchini.

You can use any kind you like.

Summer squash have the thin skins versus the thick hard shells of winter squash.

If you are looking for Simple Winter Squash recipe you can find it here.


Simple Summer Squash

Any amount of your favorite summer squash

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Gently wash your squash and slice both the tops and the tips of the bottoms off.
Slice into 1 inch rounds and place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with extra virgin olive oil
OR you can lightly coat the veggies with extra virgin olive oil.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until the squash is golden and fork tender.

Place in a food processor and puree to desired consistency, adding water as needed.

~Although you can see the skins, I find that it breaks down completely in the food processor.
The skin is packed with nutrients and anti-oxidants.

~Truth be told, we usually cut them into spears or long strips because that's the way that B & I eat them.
We just season half for us and eat them straight off the pan.
I always burn my tongue.



*Variations
-Combine with pear, apple, carrots or sweet potato
-Add onion to the pan when you roast it
-Use herbs like basil, oregano, cilantro, chives, parsley or thyme
-Puree with cooked turkey or chicken

*Storage
Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months

*Benefits
Summer squash is high in potassium, vitamin A, beta-carotene, lutein and manganese.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a chance to win  NurturMe Feeding Gift Pack!

Chicken with green beans & brown rice


Green beans are just one of those things I haven't made much of.

They are great as a first food but you lose so much in the cooking,
pureeing and straining process that I never really did it.

However, now that Peanut is used to texture in his foods, it's perfect.

Picnik collage

I also had this great brown rice blend from Trader Joe's that I used,
which is why there are dark spots that almost look like pepper.


Chicken with Green Beans & Brown Rice
1 small chicken breast (about 4 oz) cut into chunks
8 oz frozen green beans (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup brown rice
2 cups water (or unsalted stock), divided

Bring 1 cup water to a boil and add the chicken.
Rinse green beans to remove ice crystals and add to the boiling water.
Bring back to a boil, cover, reduce heat and
simmer for 4 -5 minutes until fork tender.
The color should be bright green, if they are starting to turn brownish/dark then pull them out.

Meanwhile, grind your brown rice in a blender or spice grinder.
You can grind to a powder, into smaller pieces or not grind at all,
depending on the texture you want for your little.

When the green beans and chicken are done, add them to the food processor,
reserving the liquid.
Puree, adding cooking liquid as needed.

Bring 1 cup water to a boil.
Sprinkle brown rice powder into the boiling water, whisking constantly.
Turn the heat down to simmer the mixture,
whisking constantly until the liquid is absorbed and the grains cooked.
Mine was ground to a powder and it took about 8 minutes.

Add the rice mixture to your pureed veggies and stir in
(or pulse the food processor to incorporate).

Enjoy!




*Variations
-Although Peanut loves this I thought it would be even better with herbs.
Add some minced fresh herbs like cilantro, basil, chives or parsley.
-This would also be good with a bit of garlic or onion
-Substitute a different kind of rice or grain like barley, quinoa or spelt.

*Storage
Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
When you reheat, make sure you heat completely to bring it back to a nice consistency,
 then allow to cool to the right temp for your little.

*Benefits
Green beans are high in folate, potassium, vitamin K, fiber and even a bit of calcium and vitamin A.
Chicken is a great source of lean protein in addition to potassium, phosphorus, niacin,
calcium, iron, selenium and zinc.
Brown rice still has it's bran layer which allows it to retain more fiber (4x more then white rice)
 as well as nutrients like niacin vitamin B6, magnesium and manganese.

Banana Avocado Whip


Banana and avocado are one of those combinations that I have seen over and over on baby sites.

Seriously, don't knock it until you've tried it.

The color is that gorgeous avocado green but the majority of the flavor is the sweet banana.


The secret ingredient in my banana avocado whip is the silken tofu.

Years and years ago I made a Cooking Light recipe for strawberry mousse that had silken tofu.
It blends right in and noone would ever know that it's in there.

It's softer then firm tofu, making it perfect to blend and you can put it with just about anything.
Add it to your fruit or veggie purees, serve it as finger foods
or pretty much mix it into anything.


Banana Avocado Whip
1 banana (Make sure it's ripe! The riper, the sweeter)
1 avocado
1/4 cup silken tofu

Simply puree all the ingredients together!


*Variations
-Serve it chilled on a hot day.
-Mash into chunks with a fork.
-Eliminate the tofu to serve as a first food.
-Add yogurt and/or milk and make this into smoothie for baby or for you.
No really, people drink these shakes, just google it!

*Storage
Hmmm, this is really a matter of opinion.
It will easily refrigerate for up to 3 days but it does get brown.
Both the avocado and banana get brown like guacamole that has been sitting out.

This doesn't mean that it's bad.

You can avoid this by putting the puree in a container and filling it to the top
or covering the top with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap sits on the top of the puree.
I would still put a lid over that.

If the air doesn't get to it then it won't brown.
If you do get some brown parts you can mix them in,
eat them yourself or skim it off the top and throw it away.

I used 2 ounce containers and filled them to the brim.
These keep perfectly until opened.



*Benefits
Bananas are packed with potassium and fiber but they are also good for the digestive system
and have been known to be binding (which is a nice way to say that it aids in diarrhea).

Avocados are fantastic for your baby.  Yes, they do contain some fat but it's the good fat.
The fat in avocados is monounsaturated which helps lower cholesterol and is high in omega-9.
Besides, babies could use the healthy calories in avocado.
They contain lutein, an antioxidant that helps maintain the health of your eyes and skin.
All this in addition to fiber, potassium, folate & vitamin A and you have a perfect first food.

Tofu is a great, simple source of protein without the added fat of some meats.
It also provides iron, omega-3 fatty acids and calcium.

Roasted Roots

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Although this might seem more a fall dish, I make it pretty often because Peanut loves it.

A combination of several different "roots",
I used carrots, parsnips, rutabaga and sweet potato but
you could certainly use any kind of root vegetable in this.
Typically I don't even have equal amounts of everything.

Roasting brings out their natural sweetness, requires very little as far as effort goes
and maintains a maximum amount of nutrients.

I usually do twice as many veggies as listed below, splitting the batch
and placing half on a sheet tray for B & I.
Toss with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and roast.

Picnik collage

Roasted Roots
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
1 small sweet potato or yam, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
1 small rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1" chunks

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Place all your roots into a baking dish and cover/seal with a piece of foil.
Bake for 45- 1 hour or until fork tender.
Puree to the desired consistency, adding water or unsalted stock if needed.

If you want to make your puree chunky then puree only half of the cooked vegetables.
Mash the other half with a potato masher or fork and add it to the puree.


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*Variations
-Use any combination of root vegetables
-Add fruit like apple or pear to the mix before baking
-Once cooled, mix in minced herbs like oregano, sage, chives or basil
-Add in some onion for some extra flavor
-This would be perfect mixed with cinnamon or nutmeg
-Add cooked chicken or turkey
-Top with a pat of butter and serve the family for dinner

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*Storage
Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

*Benefits
Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, potassium, fiber and beta-carotene.
Parsnips are packed with folate, calcium, potassium and fiber.
Carrots are a great source of antioxidants, boosting the immune system and building eye strength.
Rutabaga has loads of potassium as well as calcium, magnesium, vitamin C and fiber.

Turkey with Sweet Potato & Peas

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Peanut is a big fan of peas and this is a great combination.

You can do this in several variations and with strained peas or peas with skins.

I usually double this recipe as I do many of these recipes.

Picnik collage

Turkey with Sweet Potato and Peas

1 medium sweet potato (about 1/2 lb) or 1/2 a large one, peeled and cut into chunks
1/4 cup lean ground turkey or cubed turkey breast
1 cup frozen peas

Place your sweet potato in a saucepan and add enough water to cover.
Boil your sweet potato until it's fork tender.
Meanwhile, rinse your peas and set aside.
Running water over them helps remove any ice crystals.
Add in your turkey meat to the boiling water and stir to break it up.
The turkey will cook thru almost immediately.
After a minute add in your rinsed peas.  Let it boil for a minute and take it off the heat.
Allow your mixture to cool.  This gives the peas time to cook all the way thru.
Place the mixture in the food processor and puree.
There will be skins from the peas in your mixture.

~~~

If you do not want the skins from the peas you can cook your peas separately.
 Increase the amount of peas to 2 cups.
Simply steam or boil them and then rinse with cold water.
Puree with a bit of the water and then strain by pressing the mixture thru a fine mesh sieve.
Add the strained peas to the cooled mixture of sweet potato and turkey.

~The pictures of the purees are of the mixture with strained peas.~

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*Variations
-Use this as an introductory food by eliminating the turkey
and following the directions for the strained peas.
-Use chicken breast instead of turkey
-Substitute broccoli or spinach for the peas.

*Storage
Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

*Benefits
Turkey is a great source of protein for baby.  It also has niacin, vitamin B6 and tryptothan which is an amino acid.  I wish I could say it would also put baby right to sleep but there just isn't enough turkey for that thanksgiving-like food coma.  :)
Sweet potatoes are high in fiber, antioxidants, potassium, vitamin A and a bit of calcium.
Peas are high in vitamin K & C, manganese, thiamin, folate and potassium.
As peas are on the sweet side it's a great way to introduce green foods and round out baby's diet.

Pea, Edamame & Apple

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I saw this recipe floating around the internet and am still unsure about it's origins.
From a source called Baby Love?

However, I found that the copies of this recipe I came across 
had different pieces of the directions missing.

Picnik collage

I changed the ingredients just a tad as I had no apple juice, so I added apples.

Picnik collage

My only hang up is all the boiling and rinsing of the ingredients.  
I don't mind as much with the peas and edamame but it seems a shame to boil and rinse apples.
Feel free to cook them separately (either steamed or simmered with a tbs of water)
 and skip the rinsing part completely.
Just make sure to cool the apples or you'll add them in and overcook your peas.

I also cut back on the amount of liquid added, which originally calls for 1/2 cup apple juice.

For simplicity's sake I followed directions and did it all together.

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Peas, Edamame & Apple
(adapted from Baby Love)

1/4 lb frozen peas
1/4 lb frozen edamame (soybeans)
2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into small pieces

Fill a pot with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil.
Meanwhile get a large bowl and fill with ice and cold water.

Pour the peas and edamame into the colander and run cold water over them to remove any ice crystals.
Add your ingredients to the boiling water and cook for 3 or 4 minutes.
Pour the mixture back into the colander to drain
(reserving water- do this by putting a bowl under the colander)
and run cold water over the mixture.
Add everything into the ice bath to stop the cooking process.  Chill for a couple minutes.

Puree in a blender with reserved cooking liquid (or unsweetened apple juice if you have it)
until it is the desired consistency.

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*Variations
-Substitute pears for the apples
-Bake the apples for a more intense apple flavor
-Leave out the edamame and use as a first food

*Storage
Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months

*Benefits
Did you know that peas are actually legumes?
Your peas, when cooked, should always be a bright green color.
They should not be the dull color of canned peas as the healthy chlorophyll and other nutrients have been destroyed during the cooking process.
Bright green means they have retained as much nutrients as possible.
Peas are a great source of fiber, vitamin A and protein.
Oh and vitamin K which will help your baby absorb the calcium in his/her diet.

Edamame is packed with protein and potassium.
It also provides fiber, calcium, magnesium, folate and vitamins A and C.

Apples provide fiber, antioxidants and vitamins A, B and lots of C.

Chicken with Sweet Potato & Apples

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Chicken with Sweet Potato (Yams) and Apples

1 chicken breast
1 sweet potato (yam)
2 apples

Trim any fat off your chicken breast and cut it into chunks.  Peel your sweet potato/yam and cut it into chunks.  You'll want to use any kind of yam (the orange flesh) for a purely aesthetic reason.  A regular sweet potato would be just as good but the mix will be an unappetizing whitish color.

Put both the chicken and the sweet potato in a pot with just enough water to cover.  Bring to a simmer.  Meanwhile, peel and cube your apples.  When the sweet potato is tender (and the chicken cooked) throw in your apples, mix and cover.  Cook for another couple minutes.  Everything should be fork tender.

Place all your ingredients, reserving cooking liquid, into the food processor.  Add as much liquid as you would like to produce the consistency your baby likes.  I used all of it.

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Peanut is a big fan of this puree and it has lots of nutrients for him!

Tropical Fruit

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This is a super simple fresh fruit puree.  No cooking, easy peasy.

I'll admit that this was the first time I've had papaya by itself and I really wasn't a fan.  However, just because I didn't like it doesn't mean that Peanut wouldn't. 

Once I added the mango and banana we both liked the puree.

Tropical Fruit Puree
1 papaya
1 mango
1 banana

Make sure all your fruits are ripe so they'll be sweet for your little.  Peel and cube the mango, slicing around the pit, and put in food processor.  Cut papaya in half, scrape out seeds and scoop flesh into food processor.  Add banana and puree.

This puree was perfect consistency for a beginning eater.  If you feel it's too thin you could add cereal to it.  It would also be great hand mashed for more texture.

Banana is a great source of potassium and fiber and they also have natural probiotic qualities.  Mangoes add to the potassium in addition to vitamins A, C, K, beta-carotene and calcium.  Papayas are a great source of vitamin C, folate, fiber, potassium and they aid in digestion.

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Sometimes Peanut looks like such a big boy. 

I feel like I might just blink my eyes are he'll be running around.
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Well, maybe he's not that big. 

It might be a while before he can run around in grandpa's work boots.
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